18 Must Try Spanish Recipes For Foodies

Spanish cuisine is some of the best in Europe, if not the world. This list of must try Spanish recipes for foodies is perfect for the internationally inclined home cooks from wherever you may be.

Spanish cuisine is easily in my top 10 favorite cuisines worldwide. However it is often less recognized than Italian, French, or Greek when you think of most loved European cuisines. If you have been ignoring Spanish cuisine then these must try Spanish recipes will make you fall in love with glorious España.

Must Try Spanish Recipes

Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Shrimp)

gambas al ajillo Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Gambas al ajillo is one of my favorite Spanish seafood dishes, and my recipe comes straight from a chef in Granada. This dish of shrimp cooked in hot chili and garlic oil is perfect as a tapa or a main. These spicy shrimp are usually served with slices of bread to sop up all the tasty oil!


spanish clams

These Spanish clams in garlic wine sauce are a fantastic dish and extremely popular in Southern Spain. I actually made these in Valencia and it has been one of my favorite clam recipes for years now.

This easy recipe calls for baby or button clams, which are quite fun to eat. Don’t forget a good loaf of crusty bread to sop up all that extra garlic wine sauce.

Padron Peppers

perfect padron peppers

Blistered padron peppers are one of the more popular Spanish recipes for tapas in the northern regions of the country. These delicious peppers are just fried in some olive oil until they begin to blister and then get a healthy sprinkling of salt. Perfect to pair with a cold beer or homemade vermut.


best light gazpacho from andalusia spain

Gazpacho is one of the most famous cold soups and it is very refreshing on a hot Spanish day. My recipe from the Andalusian region is a delightful starter and pairs well with a cold glass of white wine. I love cooking gazpacho for al fresco dining at my summer dinner parties.

Jamon Bocadillo

jamon bocadillo wrapped in paper and served atop some chicharrones pork skin cracklings on a plate

A bocadillo is a sandwich, and a simple one at that. In fact, you might not be aware that such a simple sandwich can be so delicious. But you will see bocadillo shops in every city, town, and village in Spain – all with their own recipes.

One of the classics is a simple jamon bocadillo, or, ham sandwich. My recipe adds some high quality semi-crudo manchego for a well balanced sandwich. Make sure to use a high quality bread as well!

Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Traditional Basque Burnt Cheesecake Recipe (La Viña Cheesecake)

The famous Basque burnt cheesecake gained worldwide popularity due to the restaurant La Viña, San Sebastian in northern Spain. This famous Spanish recipe looks at first like a baker’s mistake, but be assured there is no mistake here. The delicious burnt crust has such a great flavor, and makes for an amazing presentation.

Artichoke & Anchovies Salad

artichoke with anchovies tapas salad

This somewhat polarizing but still popular salad, called alcachofas con anchoas in Spanish, is an easy recipe to make. With just a few simple and high quality ingredients you can make this flavorful salad and impress your friends with an authentic Spanish recipe they are unlikely to have tried before.

You can use steamed artichokes, or canned hearts but I especially recommend using the best quality olive oil you can find.

Quail Egg And Bacon Tartlets

Quail Egg and Bacon Tartlets

These canastillas de huevos are a popular Spanish tapa that you might get when you order a drink at a bar. They also make fantastic canapes at cocktail parties or other get togethers. With just a few ingredients you might find you scarf down these delectable treats faster than expected. But don’t worry, they only take a few minutes to make!

Spanish Tortilla

wedge of spanish tortilla

One of Spain’s national dishes is the simple and delicious tortilla. No, this is nothing like the Mexican flatbread. A Spanish tortilla is actually a potato omelette made in a pan. It is similar to a crustless quiche or a frittata with the difference it is not baked but made entirely in a frying pan.

This recipe has only 4 ingredients, but there is an often added and somewhat controversial 5th ingredient. I guess it just depends on how much you want to upset an abuela.

Vermouth Cocktail

spanish vermouth cocktail with a bottle of vermut rojo and club soda

No trip to Spain is complete without trying some of their delicious vermuts. This Spanish fortified wine is very different than the French or Italian versions your grandmother might enjoy. Popular with both young and old, it is common to order a vermut sifón to enjoy with your tapas, especially in Andalusia.

Pan Con Tomate (PA AMB TOMÀQUET)

pan con tomate pinchos platter

A famous Catalan recipe, PA AMB TOMÀQUET or pan con tomate is a delicious bread and tomato snack popular all over Spain. Commonly given as a tapa or pincho, this Spanish tomato bread is perfect with a vermouth or cold fino sherry on a warm summer’s day.

Marinated Anchovies

spanish marinated anchovies on a white plate with lemon wedges in the middle

Making Spanish style marinated anchovies at home is super simple, and a great way to bring some Mediterranean flavor into your kitchen. This recipe only requires a few simple, but very high quality, ingredients for a tasty appetizer or tapa.

Fried Eggplant With Honey (Berenjenas con Miel)

drizzling honey over spanish fried eggplant authentic recipe

This simple recipe is one of my absolute favorite starters. In fact, I probably order it 50% of the time here in Granada when I go out for a dinner that is NOT a tapas bar crawl.

Fried eggplant with honey is a super easy dish to make with only about 7 ingredients. It can also be vegan if you replace the honey with sugarcane molasses. That is actually the authentic way this recipe was made many years ago.


spanish pisto with white bread and cured ham

A traditional Spanish pisto is something you are equally likely to get from your abuela or from a trendy tapas bar. This hearty vegetable stew is classically vegan but many people spruce it up with jamon or a fried egg for extra flavor.


marinated spanish carrot side dish on a plate

This traditional Spanish recipe for marinated carrots is an oft seen side dish at home feasts. It is a dish you are more likely to see on grandma’s kitchen table than at a restaurant, but that will just remind you more of delicious home cooking. Not to mention this dish is completely vegan which is a great counter to the majority of well known Spanish foods.

Poor Man’s Potatoes (Patatas a lo Pobre)

spanish poor man's potatoes recipe with fried egg and chive

The ultimate budget eats in Spain has to be Poor Man’s Potatoes. This simple dish of potatoes and other vegetables essentially braised in olive oil is so good and infinitely customizable. For example I like to add fried egg to mine, and usually an abundance of homemade hot sauce.

Fried Baby Squid (Puntillitas)

fried baby squid with vermut sifon and homemade aioli with lemon wedges

What could be better than having a terrace lunch on a warm Spanish day? A cold glass of cerveza Alhambra, some free tapas, and a ration of fried baby squid. This is a pretty typical Andalusian day for me, especially when friends come to visit!

Ratatouille Octopus Tarts

mini tarts with ratatouille and octopus for cocktail parties

These delicious canapes are filled with pisto (Spanish ratatouille) and octopus and they are such a great party food. I always say tarts are great for entertaining, but you really elevate the classiness of a party by using seafood.

If you don’t like octopus you can always use jamon, other seafood, or just leave it as a pisto tart. However I love these ratatouille octopus tarts just the way they are!

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